In Today's Scripture Reading:
Jesus and the Sabbath; 12 apostles chosen; Sermon on the Mount; healing and miracles; John the Baptist's question; Jesus anointed
We all have sinned beyond our ability to count, and we should be deeply thankful that our Heavenly Father forgives us when we repent of our sins. If we are truly grateful, we will approach everyone who sins against us with the same mercy and compassion that we receive from the Lord. Jesus, who knows how the human heart tends to be hypocritical, warned: Why beholdest thou the mote (speck) that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?. . . Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye (Luke 6:41-42). It is our responsibility to recognize the mote (evil) for what it is, but we must first consider our own beam (negative attitudes and criticism of others). Only then are we qualified to help others with their needs.
A heart of compassion and concern to help others is in striking contrast to those who overlook their own faults and failures, but who rarely miss an opportunity to gossip about someone else's conduct or failures. We are prone to imply evil motives to others' actions, and may even exaggerate them. Thankfully, God is a merciful God, who fully forgives us when we repent of our sins. But, we tend to judge ourselves by our good intentions and others by their mistakes. Since we expect God's mercy toward us, it makes a vital demand upon us to extend that same mercy to others. If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:15).
Criticism is often an act of self-righteousness in an attempt to build up one's own self-esteem by putting others down. Also, it is easy to jump to conclusions without hearing or caring about all the facts. We have an amazing ability to misjudge the thoughts and actions of others. Judgmental people thrive on faultfinding and find something wrong with everything that is said or done by another whom they would love to belittle. It is this self-righteousness that Jesus spoke of when He said: Cast out first the beam out of thine own eye. Then the love of Christ can be expressed through us.
If anyone is overtaken in a fault (sin), ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted (Galatians 6:1).
6:11 communed =b> discussed; 7:14 bier =b> coffin on which a corpse was carried to burial.
For Luke 7:22: See Isaiah 61:1. Luke 7:27: See Malachi 3:1.
Pray for Staff: Pam Pendergrast • Government Officials: Sen. Jim Bunning (KY) and Sen. Mel Martinez (FL) • Country: Morocco (28.2 million) on the northwestern coast of Africa • Major languages: Arabic and French • Government very hostile to Christians and missions • 99.75% Muslim (mostly Sunni); .25% Christian (including foreigners); small numbers of Jews and Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Confess your sins to the Lord; He is quick to forgive (Psalm 32:5).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:8